Oslo criticized for importing paving stone from China

Oslo criticized for importing paving stone from China
Oslo's Grünerløkka. Photo: Helge Høifødt /Wikimedia Commons
Replacement paving for the streets of popular Oslo district Grünerløkka will be imported from China.

A Norwegian business representative organization has criticized the decision by the ostensibly climate-friendly city, NRK reports.

“We live in a country of stone. The municipality should choose something local if it’s available,” the broadcaster reports a commenter in Grünerløkka as saying in relation to the import of stone from China.


The trendy district’s main thoroughfare is currently undergoing renovation, with new cobblestones to be laid along the tram route, along with new curb and granite slabs on the sidewalk.

Materials for both the curb and stone on the sidewalk will come from China, NRK writes.

Norsk Bergindustri, the trade organization for Norwegian stone producers, said that many Norwegian companies were capable of supplying the relevant stone.

“Oslo Municipality’s image is vary sustainable. We want to be an environmentally friendly city,” the organization’s general secretary Anita Helene Hall told NRK.

“So I don’t understand the kind of investment where you take material from abroad, all the way from China on the other side of the world, and use it here,” she added.

Major purchases by public authorities must be made available for suppliers to bid for, and Oslo Municipality’s urban planning section Bymiljøetaten must take into account quality, price and EEA regulations, according to the broadcaster’s report.

The department’s director of communications Richard Konsteien admitted that the decision to import stone to Norway might be “hard to understand”.

Oslo Municipality would “continue work” to place more emphasis on sustainability, he also said to NRK.